COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis criticized House Republicans Wednesday, lamenting to a crowd in southwestern Iowa that he has “not noticed much of a difference” since they edged into the majority after the 2022 midterm elections.
“I’m sick of Republicans always losing to the Democrats,” the Florida governor said to applause in Council Bluffs.
“You look in Washington, it’s like, you elect Republicans, control the House. I have not noticed much of a difference in anything,” DeSantis continued. “They promise all this stuff, they go on TV … and then nothing ends up ever happening.”
The snub from the former U.S. congressman reflects DeSantis’ attempt to compare his successes in Florida to other Republicans across the country, including former President Donald Trump.
DeSantis also took particular care to strike a contrast with Trump when he got an Iowan voter’s question about whether he’s “Trump-lite” during a town hall-style interview Tuesday night, saying he’s delivered on conservative policies “even before Donald Trump was ever even a Republican, much less president of the United States.”
But the latest comment on House Republicans comes as additional House GOP leaders have announced endorsements for Trump, including Rep. Tom Emmer and Rep. Steve Scalise this week. House Speaker Mike Johnson endorsed Trump in November.
DeSantis is increasingly distancing himself from Trump as he looks for a notable finish in the Iowa caucuses, the GOP’s first nominating contest, which is in less than two weeks. Trump continues to be a strong frontrunner in polls of Republican voters in Iowa and elsewhere, despite DeSantis’ and former UN ambassador Nikki Haley’s best efforts to topple him.
Hannah Fingerhut, The Associated Press